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I'm Starving My Cat!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Or that is what he insists anyhow. My Kjartan is on a pseudo diet (he gets the amount of food the label says a growing kitty should get, and no more, no less, since given the option he would gorge till he pukes and balloon outward faster than he is growing upward) and he belives I am torturing him or something. He wants to eat constantly, I have tried breaking his food up into multiple feedings (he gets fed two times a day now), to no avail. He has eaten a spider plant ('cause he's so hungry), not just mucnched on buy mowed down completely. He will not let anyone eat food in peace and is generally louder and more annoying than a queen in heat. Is there anything anyone can say to help me?
post #2 of 14
A little more information would really help. Just how old is your fellow and what food are you feeding him?
post #3 of 14
If he has eaten a spider plant, it will cause gastrointestinal upset. You might try and leave him some oat grass in a planter for him to munch and put up your houseplants, or at least check and see which ones are toxic.

As Pat has asked you, what are you feeding him? Has he been to the vet recently and been checked for parasites and other problems? Did you put him on this diet, or did your vet?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
He's not quite seven months old, he gets Purina Pro Plan (which he literally inhales, no chewing involved there). He currently weighs about 10 pounds and is a little bit (just a little) chubby (but can, and has, snarf himself into a little butterball given the opportunity). With the amount I feed him now (2/3 cup a day) he grows and grows but stays slightly chubby, I don't want to give him less and stunt his growth, but given the chance he will gorge till he pukes every time he eats.

[EDIT] The spider plant is long gone with no gastro-intestinal upset noticed. He has a pot of grass that he ignores in favor of anything else edible. The vet gives him a clean bill of health and approves my diet (my recommendation, but technically it is not a "diet" since he gets the recommended amount, just not what he wants). [/EDIT]
post #5 of 14
OK First of all he is young and still growing and needs the nutrients. Second, all cats are gulpers when they eat, and depending on if he was a stray, he will absolutely eat everything you give him, because he has been conditioned that food is scarce and so he has to consume it, or bury it. If you elevate his food bowl up on a telephone book (for example) he will relax his throat and not eat so fast and not regurgitate. Some breeds are just prone to regurgitation as well.

But again, have you taken him to a vet? I would be inclined to take him in and get him checked out to be sure he is healthy. Then talk to your vet about an eating program and if it is even necessary for this cat to be a on a diet, but to put a younger growing cat on a diet, unless there is a sound medical reason to- is not the best idea. If you think he is getting flabby, increase his exercise period, or if you have a tall cat post, start feeding him on the highest level, so he has to work to get his food.
post #6 of 14
Well given that he has a clean bill of health, you could try to give him smaller meals during the day, instead of fewer larger ones.

Break up what he eats in the whole day to smaller portions. That way, he doesn't gorge himself at one sitting. He is still a young cat and if he was ever experienced scarce food, he is likely to eat everything at one sitting. I fed my cat four times a day at the beginning when he was a young kitten. At roughly seven months, three times day and now to two times a day. He's now 19 months.

What breed of cat do you have? Some breeds have chubby builds and others more slender builds.
post #7 of 14
May adopted cat put on two pounds in two months when she first came here, she would eat everything in sight. I let her, because it was impossible to stop her, and also feed the resident cat who was used to snacking during the day. Eventually, she learned to walk away from a full food dish, and only now can I successfully work on losing the extra weight she put on.

Again, ask your vet. He may be a little chubby kitten, but that might be healthier in the long run than restricting his food now. And until he learns that there will always be a next meal, he will probably continue to eat everything in sight.
post #8 of 14
I would worry too if my kitten seemed to never be satisfied, and would haul it in to the vets for an exam. That said, I always free fed my kittens, and as long as the kitten didn't look like jabba the hut, I wouldn't be doing a 2/3 cup thing at all. Your kitten is still growing - and unless a purebred where you know when to expect he's fully grown (un-needed factoid here...American Curls don't fully mature until at least 3 y.o.. when they develop what feels like a denser musculature, it is a real change from when they are 1 and 2) your fellow may be eating like this because a growth spurt is coming on.

Purina Pro Plan is a very decent food, so I don't think this has to do with the food not having good nutritional value which usually = an animal needing to eat a lot more of it (compare sometime how much dog food for instance a food will say to serve between the lower quality brands and a premium brand...you need far less with the really quality foods).
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
He's not an adopted shelter cat, he came from a breeder and didn't come skinny either. If I break his meals up into smaller meals he just want's to be fed more often. If given unrestricted food he will literally eat two or more cups of food a day and quickly head in the Orson Welles direction. I cannot in good conscience simply allow my cat to down two to three cups of kitten food a day, when he grows just fine on the proper 2/3 cup (and manages to maintain a flabby tummy). The problem is his obnoxious behavior, he thinks that being obnoxious gets him more food (and in the past, to some extent, it did). But recently he has taken up more and more obnoxious behaviors such as: biting me to get me to wake up and feed him at 3 in the morning (and if I do he will repeat at 530), not allowing anyone to cook or eat in peace, and eating whole plants.
post #10 of 14
Oh dear...that sounds exactly like my son's cat. When he went for his one year check-up the vet really scared my son. Demon was huge. We kept telling Keith that Demon's head looked small for his body, but actually the reverse was true. The vet told my son that Demon would develop health problems if he didn't put him on a diet. Demon is only allowed 1/3 cup of food a day. He goes back to the vet next month and we're all eager to know how much weight he's lost. He looks so much better. However, this cat still wants food all the time. He lays on the floor next to the counter where the foot is kept and cries. He wakes Keith in the middle of the night quite often. He used to do it three or four times a night, but now it's down to once every other day or so. This cat lives to eat and he's always been that way. Even when Keith was constantly filling his bowl (pre-diet days) Demon acted as if he was starving. He would have eaten himself to death if Keith hadn't stuck with the diet. Now that he's lost weight he can jump up on to the kitchen counter and look for food. That had never been a problem in the past. He was too big to jump. He's also figured out how to open the pantry, so his food has been moved. He's a lot more agile now and looks a whole lot better. I think some cats just always look for food! Hopefully, Demon will now live a long and healthy life. I think you have the right idea about watching how much you feed your cat, but I'm afraid he's always going to be looking for food. Good luck!
post #11 of 14
Obviously what this little devil needs is dicipline! I have 6 kitties who have all learned that screaming at me for anything will get them nothing. You have to be strong and not give in to his bullying. When you do you're telling him that he's the boss.

Do you have a squirt bottle and can of compressed air? The first thing I would do is stop him waking you up for food. Keep the correctional device next to you in bed. When he bites you, flick his nose, then squirt him. If necessary lock him out. If he scratches or yells at the door, correct him. Last resort confine him in another room.

Kittens do eat a lot, but if he's getting the recommended amount, never give him any more. He's learned that he can get whatever he wants and when you start cracking down he thinks he just has to try harder. Don't give in ever and be consistent with training and punishment. Sooner or later he should fall in line.
post #12 of 14
from my understanding, you should NEVER put a kitten on a diet (unless your vet feels for some reason that it's necessary), and as some mention here, i free feed my kittens throughout the day and for them, it works, but being the age your cat is, you really should be feeding him more than twice a day. you mentioned that you got your cat from a breeder, what breed is he? i have Ragdolls, and until they are a year old, i can not follow feeding suggestions on kitten food? why? because no where do they tell you what you "should" feed a 6 month old 9 pound kitten (my kitten will be the same size as yours next month...remember that some breeds are just large and they get very large very fast, and they'll need to eat more.) . so i free feed and my kittens eat only as much as they need to. when they first started to have their growth spurt, i was feeding them a purina (i believe it was Purina One) food, they went through 2.5-3 pounds of food in 5 days. i was terrified that they can eat that much, but they were fine and didn't balloon out. i changed them to a higher quality food (Nutro Complete), and they now only eat about a third of what they did and they're still growing like weeds. maybe you should think of switching to a different food.

also at times, i'm afraid that my kittens are getting chunky (Ragdolls are almost all fur though LOL AND like lions, they get a good sized fatty pouch on their tummies, but that's perfectly normal and healthy for them), but the only real way you can tell on a cat if they are overweight is not by looking at the scale or just glancing at them, you need to do some different things. 1) can you feel the upper ribs and the spine? it shouldn't feel boney, but you should be able to feel they are there without having to prod through a lot of fat. 2) look at your cat from up above, depending on the breed, you may want to wet him down first if he has a lot of hair. from up above, does he look like he has a slight indentation for a waist? if he does, then he's a fine weight, if he bulges in the middle, then he is overweight.

you may want to feed your kitten 3-4 small meals a day--which from reading your posts you feel is a pain--and give him just a little more food to work with. and please remember, he's not doing this to be spiteful or to make you angry. just have a little patience and find something that works for the both of you. (and i happen to disagree with disciplining him for being hungry. if you have to, put him in another room for the night so that you can sleep...do you give wet food at all? giving a tablespoon or so of wet food before bed or having a nice long play should tire him out so that he won't continue to wake you.)
post #13 of 14
Ahhh, now we're getting a better picture. OK. (After I did all this typing my post got lost and 3 new replies came, but I'll still add my bit here, and take out the behavior suggestions since there's plenty given above.)

1. Flabby tummy. Are you sure he's got a big gut, or are you referring to that pouch of fatty deposit between his hind legs hanging down? If the latter, it's a normal thing for a neutered cat to have, and is not an absolute indicator of fatness.

If he is indeed chubby (can't feel his ribs when running hands down sides), how about mixing his food with a reduced calorie food? Royal Canin makes some, along with/or an 'indoor cat' formula that would give him more 'volume' but not the calories. I also use Wysong, Avoderm, am planning to try Chicken Soup and Diamond. These are some of the highest quality foods on the market now.

I agree with everyone, 7 mths is awfully young to start him on a diet. It's aggravated by his fear now of not getting enough food, so he's going to snarf everything in sight (and puke), and the begging. Bad cycle.

Baby cats this age need food. I freefeed dry food for all of mine, and even my piggie Mozart is doing fine, and he's only 1 lb overweight (translates to 10 human lbs per my vet). I also feed them 1 tiny amount of wet food/day for a treat. Again, very high quality canned.

2. Obnoxious behaviors: the biting, the waking at 3/5am, hanging around when cooking/eating, devouring whole plants - these are just general cat behaviors that you need to have patience and a little creativy to train away. Of course, it could be escalated by the 'diet', or you may just see more in the behaviors because you're feeling guilty. Either way, these are normal cat quirks and if you do a search on this site, you'll find lots of helpful suggestions to others with similar problems.

Kudos for trying to work out your cat's issues, and good luck on continuing to find something that will work for you!!
post #14 of 14
My mom adopted a 13 year old Siamese/himalaya mix cat last year. (The original owner passed away) When this cat came to her it could easily have weighed 25 pounds. She was a huge cat! (Yes she goes to the vet for regular check-ups, and is free of any parasites or illness)

This is what my mom does for her:

1.Free feeding dry food , science diet weight control
2. A half can of wet food in morning, the other half at night
3. She makes her play, takes her for walks in the apartement
building hallways, ext.

I am happy to say her weight is coming down and the cat seems much healthyer as well. I know you have a kitten and things are slightly different.
As far as the behavior, My moms cat still displays the annoying behavior. She wakes her up, she eats to much and pukes, ext. She is 13 years old and has been in a loving enviroment without ever lacking for food at any time in her life of being pampered.
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